My apartment building was without power for who-knows-how-long yesterday. There was a Consumers Energy crew at my building when I got back from work around 6 and there were even more of them when I got back from errands and working out around 9:30. Looked like a fairly major operation, though I don’t know the cause of the outage. It was just my building, though, so that was fairly odd.
Always one to consider the spiritual aspect of things, I started seeking revelation on what might be going on behind the scenes. I didn’t get anything solid, though 1 Corinthians 4:20 came to mind, where Paul says “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power” (NLT). For me, the power outage prophetically symbolized a lack of Kingdom power in the Jackson area amidst “a lot of talk.” The fact that the outage was limited to my building certainly caused me to look into my own heart and repent of ways I myself do a lot of talking but not as much demonstrating.
Paul addresses this, too, in 1 Corinthians–his church-life manifesto: “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (2:4-5, NKJV).
Why, oh why, do we take so much pride in our ability to string together eloquent words and elaborate programs to convince people of God’s presence and love?
This is the evidence Jesus offered John the Baptist that the Kingdom was at hand: “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22-23, NKJV). If those things aren’t happening in our churches and communities, I wonder what makes us think Jesus is really present?
The kicker with Jesus’ message to John is that He wraps it up with this: “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” What does that mean? That the REAL DEAL is going to be offensive to many, if not most. The Kingdom, in it’s full manifestation, is going to tick many off and be completely unacceptable to them. And they’re going to kill Christians because of it, just like they killed Jesus.
Ok… this got deeper than I was originally planning. But it’s good, eh? :) God’s good because He wants so much more for us than Pharasitical, religious fluff and garbage. He wants us to have L-I-F-E life… His way. And when His power is present in us, His way “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).
Lack-of-power irony of the evening: When I was leaving my gym, the guy next to me couldn’t start his vehicle. I asked if he needed a jump and he said he has a short somewhere in his wiring and it usually starts after he jiggles it… but that wasn’t happening tonight. I asked if he had a cell phone and he said he did and could call his wife.
Not seeing what else I could do, as a joke I said something like, “Well, I’m not a mechanic, so I guess there’s not much else I can do” as I climbed into my car.
I started my trusty Subaru and then it stuck me: I’m not a mechanic, but I’m a freaking CHRISTIAN! God’s in me! Sure there’s something I can do!
And so I sat there.
I thought about going out and offering to pray for his vehicle. Because after all, when my old Grand Prix wouldn’t start one time, Scott and I laid hands on it and it started up. But I was sure he’d be plenty confused at me offering to pray for his vehicle.
So, I sat there some more.
And then I thought about the dread I’d face a few short minutes later, sitting in my apartment and thinking about the opportunity I’d passed up to be an ambassador. But that didn’t get me out of my car either. He probably thought I was sitting there being a good neighbor–and I kind of was. But I was also suffering from slight paralysis by analysis.
So God, in His great mercy, gave me an out. After fiddling with the wires some more, I noticed the man’s light-under-the-hood turn on… and then he started his car. He and I exchanged thumbs-up and I drove off, admittedly relieved that I wasn’t leaving the scene in full rebellion.
Lastly: If anyone has any prophetic insight to connections that may exist between the two “no power” run-ins I had yesterday, I’m all ears!